17 March 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Toronto Real Estate Market Starts to Thaw from Winter Freeze

The Toronto real estate market is showing signs of stirring from its deep freeze, with new listings starting to pick up — and an almost 8 per cent spike in prices — as of mid February, year over year.

Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher announced that “sales growth has rebounded so far in February after a slow start to the year in January.  While new listings were still down in comparison to last year, the annual rate of decline was less than experienced last month.  This may point to an improvement in the listings situation moving forward, which would help alleviate some of the pent-up demand that currently exists in the marketplace.”

Some 2,767 properties were sold during the first two weeks of February, up just 1.3 per cent from the same period a year ago, says the Toronto Real Estate Board.

But the average sale price was up 7.8 per cent to $547,107 from the $507,474 recorded in the first two weeks of February 2013.

“Price growth well above the rate of inflation will be the norm for the remainder of the year,” said TREB senior manager of market analysis Jason Mercer.

New listings remained down about 6.1 per cent as of mid February, year over year. But that’s a significant improvement from the 16.6 per cent decline in new listings in January which was blamed, along with the unrelenting polar vortex, for a 2.2 per cent drop in sales across the GTA.

Realtors say they are seeing more folks looking to list, but at the same time a lot of pent-up demand which has played out the last few weeks in almost irrational bidding wars, including 32 offers on a Perth Ave. house that went for $210,000 over the $639,900 asking price.

Sales of detached homes were down 0.2 per cent across the GTA (they dropped 12.4 per cent in the City of Toronto), in large part a reflection of the lack of houses available to buy, but prices were up 10.9 per cent.

Detached homes in the City of Toronto sold for an average of $942,066 as of mid month, up 15.2 per cent year over year, while they averaged $634,146 in the 905 regions, up 10.2 per cent, according to TREB.

Semi-detached sales flatlined across the GTA, but sank by 23.6 per cent in the City of Toronto, again, largely reflecting the lack of listings for what has become, due to sky-high detached housing prices, some of the most in-demand housing stock across the GTA.

The average sale price of semi was $685,111 across the 416 region as of mid month, up 9.6 per cent, while they averaged $419,972 in the 905 regions, up 4.7 per cent year over year.

Townhouse sales were down 9 per cent across the GTA but prices were up 27.4 per cent in the 416 region, to an average $568,894. Prices were up just 2.2 per cent in the 905 regions to an average of $384,468.

Condo apartments saw a 12.6 per cent increase in sales across the GTA as of mid month, with prices up 5 per cent in the City of Toronto (to an average of $373,576) and up 4.2 per cent in the 905 regions (to an average price of $287,433.)

Blog post reprinted from Toronto Star Real Estate article by Susan Pigg, Business Reporter

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